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Gold eco-award for conference centre staff

Staff at an SE1 conference venue are among the first in Southwark to get a gold award for their efforts in minimising waste, recycling and raising employee awareness of environmental issues.

The etc venues conference centre on Avonmouth Street signed up to Southwark Council's Environmental Business Awards scheme in July. The first business to get the gold award was Lloyds TSB in Lavington Street.

Since July, the amount of waste that etc venues staff recycle has increased from 3 to 40 per cent. Glass water bottles, which are used by delegates attending conferences at the venue, are now re-filled rather than thrown away and staff have received training to make eco-thinking part of everyday office life.

"We're delighted that Avonmouth House has been awarded gold," said Sally Wilton, managing director of etc venues. "This recognition bears testament to our community spirit and dedication to environmental concerns and working with local London boroughs and business districts. In addition, as a London-centric organisation, it is imperative that we support the very communities we ‘live' in and alongside, both positively and responsibly."

Any Southwark business wanting more information on the awards can contact Southwark Council's Street Improvement Team on 020 7525 2437 or email street.improvement@southwark.gov.uk">street.improvement@southwark.gov.uk

The Environmental Business Awards scheme was piloted in the Bankside area but is now open to businesses borough-wide. The awards are organised into four categories: baseline, bronze, silver and gold.

Each award has a different set of criteria that businesses need to meet. They include setting up a recycling scheme, asking customers if they need a bag instead of automatically giving them one and displaying anti-littering posters.

Rewards for businesses taking part include certificates and window stickers to display in their premises and an annual celebration event to showcase good practice.

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